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Walking Through Paris – One Parc at a Time

I am sorry I have been so lazy with updates.  Cindy K. reminded me that she wanted to see pictures so here they are!

We have been busy visiting a lot of parcs in Paris.

Along with our daily walk at Parc Monceau we have visited Parc de Bagatelle, Jardin de la Vallée Suisse, Jardin du Luxembourg, Le Promenade de Plantee, and the new Parc Zoologique de Paris. Paris has over 400 parcs and green areas. I doubt we will ever get to see them all.

We read about Jardin de la Vallée Suisse in the NY Times so we decided to pop in and see it. It is right off the Champs-Élysées and following their directions we found it quickly.

swiss valley  swiss valley 3 swiss valley 2

Next we were off to Parc Bagatelle.

Parc Bagatelle was huge. There are even camping sites nearby for tents and small campers. There were a lot of paths and green space but most of the flowers had not started blooming. This parc has rose test gardens that had already bloomed once and were just starting to bud out again. They also had peacocks but the birds would not show out for us. This day we walked almost six miles. My feet were tired!

parc cat bagatelle fluffy peonies bagatelle 2 bagatelle 3 bagatelle 4

One day we made a quick stop at Jardin du Luxembourg . Here we saw a travelling exhibit where you could “Walk the War” site of WWI. The garden was busy with chess players, bocce ball games, walkers, and sun bathers. Parisians love to sit in the sun.

walking the war sites  luxemburg 1 sun in the park

This past Tuesday we went on another  long walk…..6.2 miles. We started at Le Promenade de Plantee and ended up at the newly renovated Parc Zoologique de Paris. Both parcs were beautiful.

rock garden red hot pokers  smoke tree  exercise sea lions rhino penguins penguins 2 iguana lion giraffes gecko gecko 2

Yesterday we visited a video art instillation at the Grand Palais. It was different from anything we have ever seen in the past. Bill Viola is a very talented video artist. You can read about it here: Bill Viola at Grand Palais.

I hope you enjoyed our parc visits….and I bet your feet don’t hurt as much as ours did!

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A Day at Giverny

We have settled into a routine and are really enjoying our leisure visit to Paris.

Most days we sleep in – at least until 6:30 or 7:00 for me and a little later for Robert! After breakfast we walk to the local park and get in our 4 miles. Afternoons are spent relaxing, sightseeing, or grocery shopping.

Today we took a train to visit Giverny, Monet’s home. It was wonderful. We had visited Giverny in the past but we had not been there when the flowers were in top bloom. There were a LOT of people on the train so we were worried about the crowds. It wasn’t too bad, but it was hard to get pictures without people in them.

The weather was cloudy and the temperature was perfect and the rain held off until just before we left.

lily pond monet house artist palette bamboo bright pink peonie chicken green stream light pink peonie purple iris purple stalk spidy plant stump white blossoms white stalk yellow garden

I hope you enjoy the pictures.
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Lazy Days in Brugge

We have really taken a slower pace on this trip….and we are loving it! We rented an apartment so we knew we had more free time to explore, sleep, eat and just enjoy being in this lovely city.

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Our apartment is very enjoyable. It is 3 stories and the steps are very steep. We really have to be careful to not go slip sliding down the steps! The apartment is on the horse drawn carriage route so we get to enjoy the horses and buggies all day and into early evening. This is our front door, courtyard and our view from upstairs.

our front door and horse  our courtyard courtyard across the street

The bad news is we seem to have brought the rain with us. It has rained every day except today. We just get out the umbrellas and keep on going.

Kathy and Robert Ludwigs (Madeline’s cousins) drove from Rixensart and spent Saturday with us. Kathy always has a plan for our outings. Her rainy day plan was to go to the coast. We drove about 30 minutes to the town of Knokke (the Hilton Head of Belgium). We stopped at a tiny Chapel dedicated to fishermen lost at sea. The roof was even shaped like a boat hull. Then we visited a small gallery and viewed some fishing themed photographs. After lunch we drove to the town of Blankenberge. Here we visited the Belle Époque Centrum -a cool museum that had interactive displays of the Art Nouveau Era. The beach here was so much nicer and the sun finally came out so Robert and I walked down to the water and put our hands in the ocean. The wind was wicked and blowing like crazy. We came home with sand in our clothes, hair and in our ears!

tiny church fishermen church P1000496

finest watering place tiles stained glass  cloudy day at the beach at the beach with k and r beach at b

The rest of the week we have been touring the city, eating yummy meals, enjoying the sites, museums, and churches. I drank 2 beers during this trip. Now I can say I have had 4 beers in my life. 1 in Egypt, 1 in Prague, and 2 in Brugge. Prague was my favorite!

swan on a nest tiny shrine swans IMG_20140513_084645_875 IMG_20140513_065634_949 view from our window castle boat ride IMG_20140511_140452_612

Tomorrow we travel to Paris. It will feel like we are returning home. I am anxious to see the neighborhood in the spring. Susan says it is cool and rainy in Paris also. I am sure it will improve in the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy just a glimpse of Brugge and surrounding cities.
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